How to get a job as a deep sea biologist

by Owen James

Speaking as somebody who didn’t do the Marine Biology degree I should have, I was interested to read a post on Deep Sea News asking So You Want To Be A Deep-Sea Biologist?

You Won’t Be Jacques Cousteau. Are you still here? Well, now you better realize a few other things.  You are not going to be rich or famous.

You will not ride on Zodiacs chasing after charismatic megafauna. You are not likely to spend every day riding around in a sub wearing a red stocking hat. One week per year, one month if you are lucky, you will spend at sea.

How that time will fly by! You will spend the rest of the year analyzing that material.  You will spend most of the remaining year writing. Writing proposals, grants, papers, emails, etc. I hope you like to write.

When you are not writing you will be doing menial and repetitive tasks. Entering numbers into Excel, counting snails, programming, picking absurdly small organisms out of mud, mixing chemicals, these are the tasks that will fill your day.

You will also be spending a lot of time on a computer. Not Facebooking, Ichatting, surfing the web for fun, playing the newest game. O’ no my friend, your computer will be the vessel of menial tasks. Thankfully, those menial tasks may actually produce some sort of scientific product.

That’s just one of eleven points!

If you’ve ever thought your life would be better spent counting corals and tangs off the coast of Fiji, the full post makes sobering (but very helpful) reading.

Back to the desk job I go.

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